Everyday Look – UDXGWEN

If you share similar traditions to mine, the holiday season is just about to wrap up with Three Kings Day tomorrow. I know that most of my makeup loving friends received (or could’nt wait and ran out and bought) the ultra fabulous Urban Decay UDXGWEN palette as a gift over the holiday season. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype of new beauty products but often let them sit because we don’t know how to use them. Fortunately the UDXGWEN palette isn’t makeup rocket science. The palette is pretty neutral friendly. While I am normally all about simple “everday” beauty, I do like glitz and glam up my everyday looks every once in a while. I’m not going to bore you with the basics. I created a face chart for my current basic everyday look. I am going to give you tips on how to take my everyday look into the glam zone. This amplified look is perfect for running errands, lunch with the girls, a day at the office or a trip to the mall or a romantic date.

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Now that we have our basic everyday look to of the way let me give you some tips on how I turn this from boring everyday to “everyday glam”.

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Add Some Super Shimmer/Glitter – I know, I know glitter isn’t technically for everyday but just the tiniest amount of a light neutral glitter liner or glitter based shadow can add a slight pop to a neutral eye. My favorite place to add this is to the inner corner of the eye. It brings just the right amount of light to the eye without looking too overdone. In the face chart the lid color I used is very shimmery but you can still add more.

Switch Up the Lip Products – Swapping out your “My Lips But Better” shades for a holiday inspired red, berry or  even a brown can amp up your everyday looks without being too overdone. I want to say that switching up your lips is the easiest way to play with your everyday looks.

Plum/Mauve Blush – I love plum and mauve blushes SO much! And the winter time is one of the best seasons to wear them. Just a little bit of plum/mauve blush on the apples of your cheeks give that pretty sugar plum fairy flush.

Smoke Out Your Liner – Adding smoky liner is another easy way to make your everyday beauty look a little extra special. And it’s easy! With a brush or even a cotton swab you are going to lightly smudge some eye shadow into your upper and lower lash lines.

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You can use one or all of the tips above to transition your everyday beauty looks to one that is a bit more glam and a little less “natural”. Why not try to glam it up for yourself and ring in the new year feeling good on the outside.

Happy New Year!


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Tips for Hiring a Makeup Artist

ebblog tips I ran into an interesting dilemma this weekend that worked out for me very well but not so much for my client. It had me thinking about what it would be like to be on the opposite end of the spectrum: looking for a makeup artist. In reality I would not have to look very far because I have a network of supportive, fantastic artists to choose from but not everyone is in my shoes. So, for the bride to be, prom goer, etc. here are some great tips when it comes to hiring an artist.

Counter People/Sales People – The retail space is not ideal for securing an artist. In most cases the men and women who work at Ulta, Sephora and makeup counters are usually NOT makeup artists. As an educated and accredited artist who works retail events I can tell you that about 75% of those selling you your makeup products are not/never have been practicing artists. They may know how to apply your everyday face but do they understand contour, color theory, color correction, HD, photography, etc? Probably not.

Finding an Artist – There are great online resources of course, but always use extreme caution when meeting anyone from the internet. Most salons have at least one in house makeup artist. You can also meet great artists at trade shows, bridal shows, bridal events, fashion events, etc.

Business Cards – Always ask for them! If your prospective artists does not have one, then run. The business card should have basic contact information but do not be alarmed if there is no website/virtual portfolio. Given that internet photo piracy is all the rage these days, some artists/photographers do not post there portfolios for all to see.

Research – Now that you have established an initial interaction with an artist(s). Now is the time to take to the internet and research them.  Google, Yelp, etc are invaluable tools but always take the “reviews” with a grain of salt. It is normal to have one rotten review out of say 20 but if all 20 are neutral to negative, you might want to pass. Also, check with your local BBB (Better Business Bureau) as well to see if any complaints have been logged.

Discussion – Never, ever agree to anything until you have had time to have an actual discussion with your prospective artis(s). Agree on a time and a public place to meet. Make sure that you will have proper space, WiFi, and be able to hold an actual conversation. Think a larger Starbucks, coffee house, etc. I always suggest you come loaded with questions, the more the better. You want to discuss your expectations, their qualifications, rates, availability, etc. Make sure you know as much about them as possible. If they are late that is a HUGE red flag. Proceed with caution and bring an objective friend, parent, etc.

Portfolio – When you schedule your first meeting with your potential artist request that they bring their portfolio. If they do NOT have one, then my suggestion is to not bother. Even a fresh out school artist will have a portfolio put together that showcases their work.

Trial Run – Discuss whether or not this service is included in the artist’s standard fee. If not, inquire about pricing. Trial runs are great to get a feel for how your artist will work with you. A trial run can also help to forge a bond with your hired artist.

Contracts – Each artist should come with a standard work agreement/contract. Review it, talk through the details and make sure that the provisions provided suit your needs prior to signing. If you have any questions about the contract now would be the time to address them.  I suggest paying attention to terms like non refundable, deposit, prepayment, availability, timeframe, trial run, cancellation, etc. If you want changes to be made to the agreement/contract now is the time to bring them up. As their client you want EVERYTHING in writing, this includes changes made AFTER the agreement/contract has been signed.

I always say exercise caution and good judgment whenever you enter into a business agreement with anyone.  If you go through these steps and you feel comfortable, then sign on the dotted line. This is just a very basic over view and I can get very detailed. Is this something you’d like to learn more about? Let me know and good luck! Ashley